COVID-19 update: The Gray Barn is open beginning July 8 for full rental stays (all five rooms) for a week’s time only through September 27. Groups can include up to 10 people, with stays running from Wednesday to Sunday. One private tour per booking is provided. The Gray Barn accepts reservations for regular stays beginning October 1, 2020, although this date is subject to change during the coronavirus crisis.
There’s a lot going on at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary.
Located in High Falls — not Woodstock — the sanctuary is a literal saving grace for rescued farm animals who might otherwise face abuse, starvation, or slaughter.
After getting started in 2004, the organization now houses dozens of furry, feathered farm friends. With so many happy animals on the grounds, the site is a popular destination for weekend visitors, who stop by for tours and seasonal programs.
Since 2019, animal lovers have one more reason to venture over the river and through the woods (depending on which direction you’re coming from) to the High Falls hotspot. Dubbed The Gray Barn, the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary inn offers guests the opportunity to stay overnight on the property for the first time since the organization relocated from Willow, where there was a small, overnight guesthouse.
“We wanted to build on that tradition in our new location, but none of the existing buildings were exactly right,” explains Jess Davis, the programs manager at the sanctuary. “We received a grant to build the inn from a funder who wanted to make sure we continued to be sustainable for years to come, so we were able to work from the ground up with a gifted Hudson Valley-based architect, Marica McKeel of Studio MM, and the construction team at R.L. Baxter Building Corp. to make the vision a reality.”
Now complete, the inn is a convenient destination for visitors and guests who want to attend onsite events, which range from vegan weddings to community dinners. It’s a true boutique destination in the Hudson Valley, with cozy common spaces and five onsite guest rooms, each of which comes with a private terrace.
On the first floor, a wheelchair-accessible room accommodates handicapped visitors, while additional foldout sleeping space is available for wedding parties or guests who travel with children. Nearby, the living room area and outdoor porch are ideal for lounging on lazy afternoons or hosting intimate wedding ceremonies and elopements. Plus, with an abundance of windows and natural light galore, the space is a nature lover’s (and a photographer’s) dream.
Regarding the aesthetic, McKeel of Studio MM led the way, thanks to her experience with on-trend designs in rural atmospheres. Inside, local artisans make their mark as well. Coffee and tea mugs, for instance, come from Tellefsen Atelier, a ceramicist based in Middletown.
On top of that, all linens and toiletries are eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethically sourced so as to tie in with the sanctuary’s overall mission. Towels come from Parachute, while Blu Dot provides many of the contemporary couches and tables that define the space. The barn is very modern on the whole, yet it embraces rustic touches like handmade tables and recycled, woven rugs in every room.
In terms of amenities, visitors who book a stay at The Gray Barn don’t just have access to the sanctuary grounds; they can also look forward to farm-style cuisine that highlights Woodstock Farm Sanctuary’s vegan-forward initiatives. Breakfast, which is included with each stay, features easy, flavorful dishes like fresh berry cobbler and some of the best breakfast sandwiches you’ll ever have. Keeping allergy concerns in mind, the Barn also has nut-free and gluten-free options on hand in its open, state-of-the-art kitchen, which features a traditional dining table and bar stool seating to accommodate visitor preferences. No matter what time you arrive for check in (any time after 3 p.m. is OK), take a break from unpacking to swing by the coffee and tea bar for a hot cuppa. Trust us, it’s just the thing to welcome in the vacation vibes.
As far as reservations go, the inn hosts guests year-round from Wednesday to Sunday morning each week, while the sanctuary operates for tours and events from April to November (guests at The Gray Barn always have access to VIP tours). Rooms run $250 and up per night, with packages and specials on offer seasonally, and gift cards to The Gray Barn are available for purchase online.
“Much like our weekend visitors and volunteers, guests who come to stay at The Gray Barn [can] travel from near and far to meet the animals and enjoy some time in the scenic and beautiful Hudson Valley,” says Davis. “We hope to welcome animal lovers of all kinds who are interested and who care about the work that we’re doing.”